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Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

 
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Old 24 Mar 2011, 01:45 am
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Default Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser with about 90K on it. Recently on starting the car on cold mornings I am getting a little exhaust fumes coming in through the outside vent/ac. (If set to recirculate, the problem does not happen) It seems only to happen for a minute or two during the initial startup.

Anyone heard of this problem and what might be the cause. Its a little cold and rainy to be driving with the windows down.

Thank for the help.

-Y

FYI: Car has been smogged in CA in last month and had no problems.
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Old 24 Mar 2011, 07:16 am
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

You might have a small leak in the exhaust or the flex pipe. (That's the flexible pipe between the exhaust manifold and the CAT). Mine had a break there and was fixed under warranty.

Why not make sure the switch is on "recirculate" when you turn the A/C on, at least for the first few minutes? Until you can find the problem. Simple enough.
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Old 24 Mar 2011, 09:39 am
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

You might also have an oil leak that's burning off and you're smelling it thinking it's exhaust. Your cabin air intake is right there, just the other side of the firewall from the engine compartment so tends to suck in air around the car. To pull that in though, it'd have to be a heck of a leak.
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Old 24 Mar 2011, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

Good suggestions.

Another would be to open hood, start, and look.

Poor powertain control (excessive movement), due to failed torque struts, or
motor mounts) will break exhaust parts
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 02:31 am
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

Thanks for the ideas. Have looked an not seen anything out of the ordinary, but my eye is not a particularly trained one.

Had problems with torque struts which were replaced at 78k with major service. This started quite sometime after that servicing.

The burning oil idea is a interesting one because there are some small leaks. but the smell is immediate upon start-up so it seems like the exterior of the engine would not be hot enough start it smoking that quickly. But I will take a second look. Will check the flexpipe as well...

The weird thing is that it is strong and then goes away after a minute or two...

-Y
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 08:48 am
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

I'm getting the same thing, '01 LTD NA, 215 KM. It's more noticeable after the engine is warmed and I do a restart (after a short trip). It clears after a few seconds...minute. It smells more like oil than coolant. I don't see any obvious leaks. I think the fumes collect under the hood, as mentioned the air intake for the cabin is RIGHT there..bad design; IMHO the air intake should be well sealed/separated from the engine bay.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 09:43 am
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

Can you see it upon start up? Could it be that the drain for you AC is clogged? I have had these leak into a car before, but not my PT. Also, could the heater core have a leak.

Just spit balling here.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 01:03 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhn_plsn View Post
Just spit balling here.
Me 2!

Actually, mine does this, forgot in place of all other problems ...

Looked, too. Could be an exhaust manifold crack;

ALL 2.0 DOHC's cracked, EVERY SINGLE ONE

So it leaks until it expands and is re sealed

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Old 26 Mar 2011, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

If the a/c drain was plugged or the core leaking, you would have the smell all the time. Actually, the fresh air intake on the PTs is isolated as well as any other car that has ever been made. Every car that I can think of has had the "air intake" in that same approximate position. When you open the hood you'll see the rubber "ring" that surrounds our engine compartment. It seals against the hood when it's in the closed position. The air that enters the interior is drawn in from the bottom edge of the windshield on the passenger side, near the wiper. If you have a damaged, aged, brittle or just plain missing "seal" across the top, then you could be drawing in odors.

Yes, our manifolds can develop small cracks in certain instances. Crewzins was one of the few that were bad enough to need replacement, that I know of. The cracks were never as prevailant on our 2.4's as they were on the 2.0's and as has been said, they will immediatelly seal when the manifold heats up. Since the manifold is colder prior to first start up in the winter, you probably won't have this odor problem in the summer.

Like You admitted and Crewzin said, simply use the recirculate mode for the first few minutes and you're home free.

Jerry
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Old 27 Mar 2011, 02:58 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust coming in through AC upon startup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwpptc View Post
If the a/c drain was plugged or the core leaking, you would have the smell all the time. Actually, the fresh air intake on the PTs is isolated as well as any other car that has ever been made. Every car that I can think of has had the "air intake" in that same approximate position. When you open the hood you'll see the rubber "ring" that surrounds our engine compartment. It seals against the hood when it's in the closed position. The air that enters the interior is drawn in from the bottom edge of the windshield on the passenger side, near the wiper. If you have a damaged, aged, brittle or just plain missing "seal" across the top, then you could be drawing in odors.
Jerry
Agree, plenum entrance is above blower. Same as Neon, etc.

I got he was referring to the hood shape, being an inverted bucket, it traps gasses where highest point is seal, adjacent to the plenum intake.
Neon, hoods more or less flat, and open on three sides.

IDK anything about the 2.4 except what I've read and seen on my own.

I do know there's not supposed to be exhaust gasses entering the cabin ...
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